A Thousand Fires is a story about gang violence, revenge, and loss. It’s a story about loyalty and love in the face of decades of conflict. How can we end something we’ve forgotten how it began?
10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest…
Valerie Simons knows the city’s gang wars are dangerous—her own brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway her from joining the elite and beautiful Herons to avenge his death—a death she feels responsible for.
But when Valerie is recruited by the mysterious Stags, their charismatic and volatile leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie fights to stay alive as she races across the streets of San Francisco to finish the mission that got her into the gangs.
TW: PTSD, self-harm, anxiety, suicidal thoughts
A Thousand Fires is one of those stories that examines conflicts that have festered over years. A thirst for vengeance that can never be sated. When the purpose, the grievances have been buried, but not forgotten. In this city full of warring gangs, their conflict has been ongoing for a decade. And the city has evolved around these moments of bloodshed and violence. Valerie is motivated by the loss of her brother, another death in the cyclical violence of the streets.
A Thousand Fires is a book I easily gobbled up. There’s this undeniable hum of action that can be contagious. Asking questions about violence, forgiveness, and peace I can see why A Thousand Fires is compared to The Illiad. But while I fell into the story, after finishing I realized that I wanted something more. It’s hard for me to quantify what it really was, but the ending almost felt anti-climactic given the build up? I really loved that Valerie stress bakes and is consistently focused on her goal for vengeance.
A Thousand Fires deals with love, loyalty, and protection. What happens when we are trying to protect someone and we, ultimately fail? Or if we betray them while we are trying to shield them? I loved the themes and the questions we are asked – how can we stop the violence? Put a halt in the cycle of revenge and sacrifice? It’s an endless cycle of violence that leaves a body count in cemetery places. Is revenge that enacts vengeance on old wounds the only way?
A Thousand Fires was an enjoyable read, but something I wanted just a little bit more from. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t like it or hate it. I enjoyed it a lot while reading, it’s just not a book that I couldn’t get out of my head days later, if you know what I mean. That being said, I definitely recommend you read it and see where you stand!